Last week, the Manufacturing Standards Skills Council (MSSC) announced a partnership with Amatrol to launch the CPT+ Skill Boss Training and Certification Program.

The program builds upon MSSC’s Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification program to incorporate hands-on skills for an advanced manufacturing workplace where data and connected systems are standard.

MSSC Chair Leo Reddy and Amatrol President Paul Perkins post with Skill Boss, used in CPT+ training

MSSC Chair Leo Reddy (left), Amatrol President Paul Perkins (right) with the Skill Boss

Certified Production Technician

As a prerequisite, individuals seeking a CPT+ certification must first complete MSSC’s CPT program which equips individuals with the core competencies needed to succeed in production in all manufacturing sectors.  The program consists of four Modules, each consisting of 40 hours of instruction and training:

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Production Processes
  • Maintenance Awareness

Because the CPT+ is a “stackable” program, it is not required for individuals to complete the extra training on the Skill Boss to earn a CPT certification, nor does it affect the certification of anyone who has already completed MSSC’s CPT training.

The value-added of the additional Skill Boss training is worth the extra investment, both to individuals going through the program and to employers seeking to sharpen their incumbent workers’ production skills.

Skill Boss

The Skill Boss is a computerized machine, designed and manufactured by Amatrol, that assesses 55 different skills from MSSC National Standards. It is capable of training and assessing users in skills related to advanced manufacturing discrete parts and process manufacturing.

The device is affordable, portable and compact — both it and its associated programmable logic controller (PLC) can fit on a 3×6 foot table. This makes it ideal for classrooms, and the price is affordable enough for even lower-income school districts.

Watch this video to see the Skill Boss in action:

Additional value-add from the Skill Boss:

  • Appeals to tactile learners through hands-on training
  • Offers learners a great introduction to mechatronics
  • Incentivizes individuals to earn CPT training
  • Increases employer confidence in their workers’ competence by requiring evidence of hands-on skills
  • Great for incumbent workers who already are CPT certified
  • Engaging learning through virtual 3D simulation
  • Meets ISO Standard 17024 accreditation requirement

Download the Skill Boss Fact Sheet for more information.


In CPT+ training, instructors will either integrate hands-on learning on the Skill Boss throughout each Module of CPT teaching, or they will complete the Module and afterwards assess the student with hands-on incorporation of skills learned during instruction. The Skill Boss adds an extra 15 hours of training to each Module.

Upon completion of training, CPT+ students will receive:

  • MSSC Transcript for each Module, signed by the trainer and retained in MSSC’s registry
  • Diploma-style certification
  • Two CPT+ arm patches

Learn more about the Skill Boss or CPT+ Certification

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